From the Backyard to the Dining Table: Camote Tops

Thanks to APEC, Manila has 2 additional special holidays, November 18-19, 2015. I took advantage of it and decided to spend it at my sayote kingdom a.k.a home.

Yesterday’s viand for lunch was camote tops, which I got from the yard (thanks to my brother who planted it). One of my goals is to someday serve food at the dining table harvested from the yard, just like the old times. Yes, old times, because my family’s main source of income was planting vegetables. And if you are a farmer, it’s basically what you plant is what you eat. While I didn’t appreciate it very much back then, I realized years later that I was lucky to have that kind of setup. Now, how I wish I could do it in Manila but space is limited, plus the weather is different. But urban gardening is also encouraged these days so might as well look into that option.
camotetops1 camotetops2Funny thing was, since I know my brother is not at home, I dropped by the grocery to pick up some stuff to sustain me while there. My siblings have their own lives, I have my own home, and since my mother died, there’s no one to ensure I have food at home, courtesy of her sari-sari store hehehe. Anyway, I picked up some canned goods, and I grimaced while doing so and again while typing this hahaha (I’m trying as much as I can to avoid all things processed now, that’s why). But since the camote tops are I think enough for the meals that I have to take at home, looks like the canned goods will be for my brother hahaha. Swap kami 😛 . Plus, tita and her family is visiting this weekend so they will bring more vegetables.

Note: While the camote tops in the picture doesn’t look appetizing enough to some, it’s how I want my vegetables cooked-plain and just sauteed in little oil with a dash of salt.

Had Fun at Burnham Park

Went home last weekend of October to spend some time with my family. Together with me was my niece (brother’s daughter) from Tagaytay (their home). Since it was only her 2nd time to visit, we went out on Sunday to attend mass, and picnic at Burnham after.
Burnham Park is one of the tourist attractions in Baguio. There are different parts of the park depending on what you prefer to do. There’s the Children’s park, Biking area (separate for children and adults so it’s safe especially for kids), Burnham lake and the Rose Garden to name a few. You can find the perfect spot for your picnic in any of these areas. For photography enthusiasts, this is also a nice place to take lots of pictures.
For my family, it has always been the Children’s park so that the kids can just play around. After lunch, the kids went biking for an hour.  We rented just one with side-car where it was manuevered by my nephew and his passengers were my 2 nieces. The area was beside Burnham Lake so after their biking, they requested us to go boating wich I obliged because believe it or not, I haven’t tried that myself. :p
We had the option to paddle the boat ourselves or just have someone do it for us for an additional fee. Being the nervous aunt that I was that time (I was the only adult in the group :p), I opted for the later. Rowing back and fourth took about 20 minutes. I’m not very much familiar with the existing rate but I paid Php 230.00 for the 30-minute boat ride, and the fee for the boatman.
Here are some pictures of that day.

 @the Children’s park
 biking weeee!
 posing at the boat
my niece concentrating on the paddle. she had fun doing it!

If you’re visiting Baguio, you can’t miss the place because it’s located at the city proper.

Baguio Gimik

After accompanying my mom to do the grocery last Sat., I texted my childhood friend if she was in town and if she would like to meet up. Fortunately, she said yes.
I had to wait for her though because she’s still in school for her tutor class, which was ok as I also needed to do some work stuff. I went to Cordillera Coffe, located in SM Baguio. The main reason I chose this place was because of their free WIFI but of course they also serve good stuff – from coffee to cakes to pasta to rice meals. My friend arrived at around 6 PM. We had a little chit chat over a cope of coffee and a slice of cake.
Not wanting to go home yet at around 8:30 PM and feeling the urge to sing, we went to look for a Videoke hehehe. Unfortunately, the one in SM is already closed and we did not know of any other place that has videoke. Darn! The next time I’m there, I should already know of a place. I know there’s one…there should be! Hehehe.
We then decided to go to Le Fondue, located at the 4th Floor La Azotea Bldg. along Session Road. It’s a small resto-bar with live music, mostly folk. There were around 2-3 singers that night who took turns. There are some tables on the small balcony overlooking Session Road. That’s where we took our seats. San Miguel is around Php35-40 while cocktails at Php55-120. I’m not sure of the exact prices. If you want to just chill and have a quiet conversation while enjoying the gentle evening breeze, then this place is ok.
Next stop is at Ayuyang. Sounds familiar? Yes, for those of you who’ve watched Piolo and Juday’s movie, Don’t Give Up On Us, this is the bar where Piolo was working. All along I thought it was further away from the city but I was surprised to learn that it’s just at Upper Session Road, where the old Victory Liner terminal was wahahaha. It was the opposite of le Fondoue. There were different bands, all of them into rock music, very opposite of what’s depicted in the movie ehehe. We can’t talk, and the rare times we attempted, we had to shout hehehe. The place is ok though and the crowd is still pleasant. But based on my observation though, they invite different bands each night so maybe some nights have different music as well.
We called it a night at around 11 PM.
So there, happy holloween! 😀
Until my next tour in my hometown hehehe.

Home sweet home

I went home last weekend as it is a long weekend and a holiday as well. It’s All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. This is one holiday where my family usually prepares to remember our departed family members. Sometimes, it’s just us, the immediate family and our neighbor. But most of the times, relatives (especially from my mom’s side) opt to just come to our home for the event. So last week, I wasn’t surprised when an uncle texted me asking me where I’ll be on Nov. 1. When I said I was going home, he told me that they’ll be coming to our home that day so we’ll just see each other then.
When I got home last Sat., my brother was busy preparing and I can’t force him to accompany my mom for the grocery. My sister who was supposed to accompany her was not available all of a sudden. Left with no choice, I volunteered so an hour after I arrived, we went to town again, with me almost without sleep and straight from my trip. I realized I was dead tired and hungry when we were already at ths supermarket I can barely push the cart haha. Most of the time, I just stayed in the aisle and wait for my mom to just drop the stuff there hehehe. I asked her to make it a little faster so that we can grab some brunch, which she did. After that, we went to one of the restos to grab a bite. I ordered coffee first and that did the trick. I was revived hehehe. We finished everything in 4 hours. We had to wait for my uncle who will be servicing the groceries home though as we texted him late.
On Nov. 1, it was only when I realized most of my uncles and aunts and their families came. Usually, the lighting of the candle and of course, the prayers – both Catholic and traditional way are solemn. Other than that, everyone’s making a happy noise hehehe. My cousins are all grown up now and can already relate to the older ones. I even saw one of my cousins took a shot of vodka wahaha. I don’t know if it’s legal though. And he’s studying in SLU – my alma mater, taking up BS IT, just like my course. Would it be that I have influenced him? I’m not sure.
My teenager cousins were asking me for a treat (aka gimik) that day but I did not feel like going out and besides, I didn’t have the budget so I just promised them a treat in December. Another bonding moment for us. It will be a dent on my wallet though hehehe. But then again, I’m happy and so are they so it’s ok. 🙂


Last Thrusday, my mom texted me that I need to go home for the blessing of my uncle’s house (whose family I stayed with for almost a year when I was in Junior college). So on Friday, I decided to go an early shift (with the blessing of my boss – thanks mami! :)) so that I can leave Manila by 5PM. Unfortunately (and for reasons I don’t know), many people are still going up to Baguio so I was only able to board the 6 PM trip. I was assigned to seat # 2, just behind the driver’s seat. It looks like the bus is new. Its interiors are different from the old Victory buses. It has a small flatscreen TV.

When we were along NLEX, there was a sudden long sound (like that of a siren) from the bus. It lasted for about 2 minutes and it only stopped when the driver decided to pull over. After a few minutes of checking, we resumed the trip. The driver did not give us any reasons for that.

When we were in Tarlac for the first stop over, the driver did not park in the usual parking lot. We were in a different area which I could not locate. But beside us is another bus which was being repaired. I’m not sure whether the driver had the bus checked as well.

Moving on to I guess Taloy, when the road is already uphill and zigzag, we heard the siren sound again. Weh! Good thing we were near one small stopover for other buses so that’s where the driver pulled over for the 2nd time that night. This time, they asked us to get down and board another bus – at 12:30 AM. Scary waaaa!!! Three Victory Liner buses passed by and most of the passengers boarded those buses. I opted to just wait for other buses rather than competing with all the other passengers for a seat. I was already sleepy and I didn’t want to be standing for the rest of the trip. Besides, I just heard about the Puerto Galera incident and its cause was overloading. My praning self imagined that with a lot of my co-passengers wanting to get to their destinations already, they will all board those buses no matter how uncomfortable it will be for them and then the bus might be overloaded wehehehe.

Anyway, after 15 minutes, the driver told us that it’s already ok to board. Since there were only a few of us passengers left, and since none of the other passengers opted to wait for other buses and just get back in our bus, I followed suit. When everybody were settled and the driver was about to start the engine, the condoctor said, “alalay na lang pare”. Waaaaa. Scarier! Right then and there, I wished I could have just boarded one of the other buses earlier. The trip was slower this time because of it, and then it was foggy and it was already drizzling. What a combination.

Based on the driver and conductor’s conversations which I was able to eavesdrop (hehehe), the bus overheated and the siren sound was a warning. And according to them, it was a good thing that the bus had the siren, otherwise they would not have known that the bus already overheated. I don’t want to imagine what could have happened then.

After 30 gruelling minutes, we finally reached Junction Marcos Highway, where my uncle and brother were waiting for me. After a few more minutes, home sweet home in one piece :). Whew!

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